Many businesses across the US score poorly on being prepared for severe winter weather, according to a new poll of America's workforce, commissioned by FM Global.

Nearly one third of full-time American workers (32 percent) assign their employers a grade of C, D or F when it comes to preparedness for a major winter storm, the research finds. Furthermore, more than half of US workers (52 percent) employed full time indicated they are dissatisfied with their employers' preparedness, wanting their company to be better prepared for a winter storm.

"America's feedback speaks to the need for businesses to be more proactive, and overall more resilient, when it comes to winter weather," said Brion Callori, senior vice president, engineering and research, FM Global. "Insurance won't bring back lost customers, market share or fix a damaged corporate reputation for unprepared businesses. A business continuity plan which has been well-tested and communicated to employees can address such risk and help companies avoid costly physical and financial losses."

FM Global recommends the following best practices for businesses to help prevent damage in severe winter weather conditions:

  • Plan as if freeze-ups are a certainty, even if your business operations are located in a warm climate where severe temperature drops are uncommon.
  • Inspect your roof for weakness and snow loading during a storm, especially areas where snow can drift.
  • Arrange for key facility staff to be available during expected cold spells to monitor weather conditions and patrol buildings in search of cold spots, structural damage, large leaks or sprinkler piping breaks.
  • Have procedures for maintaining adequate heat, especially if a shutdown of operations becomes necessary.

 FM Global conducted the study in mid-February 2015 about the impact of severe winter weather on US businesses using the research services of TNS. Full-time employees, age 18 and older, were polled from a nationally representative sample. The survey had a margin of error of plus/minus 4 percentage points at a 90 percent confidence level, and was completed by 426 participants.

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